STRENGTH and conditioning coach Justine Fortune finally came on board and join the team of Manny Pacquiao as he gears for his upcoming title fight against World Boxing Association champion Lucas Matthysse.
Fortune arrived in Manila on Friday and immediately joined the 39-year-old Filipino ring legend the following day when he trained at the Elorde gym inside the Two E-Com Center at the Mall of Asia grounds.
"We are shifting our training to higher gear now with less than two months before the fight," said Pacquiao in a statement released on Saturday.
The fight with Matthysse, a native of Argentina, is set on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The arrival of Fortune is expected to douse speculations that the bout won’t push through.
Argentine TV network TyC Sports earlier reported the fight could be postponed owing to certain disagreements between the promoters and the Kuala Lumpur organization.
Pacquiao, whose MP Promotions is the lead promoter of the fight, referred the news as ‘malicious and untrue.’
"I would like to thank these rumor-mongers for the extra publicity that they are contributing to make this fight such a huge success. I am turning this negative news into something good because no news is actually bad news," added the 39-year-old boxing legend.
Arano Box Organization, which manages the 35-year-old Matthysse, and Golden Boy Promotions, seconded the Filipino senator.
"Given the wrong versions of the postponement of Pacquiao-Matthysse, such as the news that we retweeted, Arano Box clarifies that the fight has no problem and the date remains unchanged," said Mario Arano, manager of Matthysee, on Tweeter.
Meanwhile, Havas Sports & Entertainment, a division of Havas Media Asia Pacific, has been appointed as the International Media Rights and Commercial Partner by fight promoters MP Promotions and Events for the highly anticipated 12-round fight.
The deal covers worldwide distribution across the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Africa and includes media rights across all platforms and devices including television, broadband, mobile, radio and in-flight rights.
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